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What happened on the Terry McLaurin touchdown?

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Commanders Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars allowed several big plays in its Week 1 loss to the Washington Commanders. The biggest stinger was a fourth-quarter, 49-yard touchdown to Terry McLaurin.

Shaquill Griffin was behind McLaurin by technique, but he got burned by tendency and talent.

At that point in the game, Carson Wentz had just two completions on throws over 10 yards downfield, and they were to his tight end and running back. Griffin may have not respected the deep throw simply because it hadn’t come all afternoon.

McLaurin also deserves credit for how he paced his route. The slight hesitation gave him space to glide around Griffin and burst up the sideline untouched.

Although Griffin’s assignment on this Cover 2 call was to guard in-breaking routes from McLaurin and the flat (in that order), he also had a responsibility to disrupt McLaurin’s route. That would’ve given Andre Cisco more time to reach to the ball and make a play. It’d be nice to see Cisco with a bit more awareness in the future, but with a clean release from McLaurin and a pump fake from Wentz, few safeties would be able to make that play.

The Commanders ran four verts towards near the end of the first half and Jacksonville defended it well. This time, Washington ran another vertical concept against two-high safety coverage, and it was the difference in the game.

Expect Jacksonville’s cornerbacks to be more aggressive near the line of scrimmage this week against the Indianapolis Colts. Feature running back Jonathan Taylor deserves to be the defense’s priority, but the Jaguars must also slow down opposing receivers after allowing Wentz to throw for 313 yards and four touchdowns. I’d like to see whether Caldwell’s unit can handle press-man coverage and heavier blitzes.